The Fire Witness: Book summary and reviews of The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler

The Fire Witness

A Detective Inspector Joona Linna Novel

By Lars Kepler

The Fire Witness
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2013,
    512 pages.

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Book Summary

Flora Hansen calls herself a medium and makes a living by pretending to commune with the dead. But after a gruesome murder at a rural home for wayward girls, Hansen begins to suffer visions that are all too real. She calls the police, claiming to have seen a ghost, but only one detective puts aside his skepticism long enough to listen: Joona Linna.

Linna has spent more time at the scene of the crime than any other detective would. The case seems obvious on the face of it: One of the girls at the home escaped in the middle of the night, leaving behind a bloody bed with a hammer under the pillow. But why does Hansen insist that the murder instrument was a stone, not a hammer? And what's the story behind the dark red grain of sand, almost like a splinter from a ruby, stuck beneath the dead girl's fingernail? As Linna refuses to accept easy answers, his search leads him into darker, more violent territory, and finally to a shocking confrontation with a figure from his past.

Just as Lars Kepler's The Hypnotist and The Nightmare did, The Fire Witness has spent months at number one on the Swedish bestseller lists. As the newspaper Dagens Nyheter put it, you start the thriller "on the subway home, keep reading at the dinner table, and then don't stop until well into the wee hours." Kepler writes with the force of Stieg Larsson and the plotting of Jo Nesbø. The Fire Witness is an unflinching page-turner, sure to join the ranks of its predecessors as an international sensation.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A rich, nuanced tale, ideal for beach reading, just as long as the beach doesn't harbor too many shadows." - Kirkus

"Gripping... False leads, administrative difficulties, and hints of a case involving Linna's own family keep the pages flying by." - Publishers Weekly

"A Brilliant thriller." - Norrköpings Tidningar

"It's like falling down a stream, you get caught up and can hardly breathe." - Dagens Nyheter

"It all goes at maximum speed and it´s impossible to hit the brakes before reaching the end." - Skånska Dagbladet

"I have never before come across something as thrilling as the works of Kepler." - Barometern

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Lars Kepler is the pseudonym for a literary couple who live in Sweden. Their novels, including The Nightmare and The Hypnotist, have been number-one bestsellers in more than a dozen countries, including Denmark, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, and Spain. They live in Stockholm.

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